Duncan's blog

August 14, 2008

John MacDougall MP

Filed under: Politics — duncan @ 12:13 am
Tags: , ,

It was announced in the news on Wednesday that Glenrothes MP John MacDougall has died from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a nasty form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, which almost certainly happened when he worked in the shipyards in Rosyth and Methil.

Apparently he’d been terminally ill for some time. At the time of writing his own website hasn’t been updated, although theyworkforyou.com has.

This will mean another by-election for Labour to contest. They lost the last one, in Glasgow East. They also lost the last Scottish one before that, in the neighbouring Dunfermline and West Fife constituency in 2006. And unlike most by-election winners, the Lib Dems managed to retain that seat at the following General Election. You’d think if they also lost this one that it could be curtains for Gordon Brown.

This might seem insensitive, but why is it that critically ill MPs don’t resign? In Dunfermline and West Fife, the previous MP Rachel Squire had had two brain tumours before the 2005 General Election, then had a stroke in June of that year, yet remained the MP until her death in January 2006. John MacDougall had a lung removed, and was seriously ill, yet apparently still intended to stand for re-election. It’s questionable if constituents are best served by MPs who are critically ill.

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